What you may have missed in the business news last week:
Once again, a job report. For a basic explanation of why there are important, here’s an earlier post: Why Employment Numbers Matter. Despite adding 169,000 jobs in July, the labour force shrunk. That is: there were 312,000 fewer people that were included in the US labour force in July – so yes, the unemployment rate went down, but no, not because there were more jobs.
And the market is reacting to the forecasted reaction of the Fed, who are a bit less likely to ease off the easing, seeing as their work is clearly not-yet-working.
Well, they announced it. And I guess Samsung can now claim being the first of the big boys to bring a smartwatch to market.
It’s not particularly smart, though. In fact, it seems a bit stupid. Particularly that camera on the side, because I’m just not sure that you can take a photo without significant yoga loosening-of-limb beforehand.
Oh – and messaging off a wristwatch? With what fingers? I don’t type left-handed…
Microsoft announced that it will be paying €3.8 billion for Nokia. I’m sure that the Nokia folk are relieved – that Lumia was going nowhere; and Nokia news has been a timeline of tried and unsuccessful turnaround plans.
Much like Microsoft’s forray into the world of phones and tablets. As well as the confusing world of Windows 8.
Toyko will be hosting the 2020 Olympics. And yet: Fukushima.
The nuclear plant has been leaking more than the Japanese were telling everyone; they’re now asking for help; and have elevated the crisis to a level 3. Some of the radioactive water is leaking into the Pacific Ocean. The decommissioning of the reactors is expected to take 30 to 40 years.
I can’t help but wonder whether this isn’t a bit of standard Japanese understatement in order to avoid losing face and having to commit honourable suicide.
They’re also pumping through 400 tonnes of water a day in order to cool the plant, meaning that they have to find storage for 400 tonnes of freshly intoxicated water a day. Let’s stretch that out over the next 30 years. That’s 4.4 million tonnes of water.
That is a lot of new storage tanks.
Labour is out, the Liberal-National coalition is in.
Mr Abbott is all about business, promising to scrap carbon taxes, lower business tax rates, remove the controversial tax on excess mining profits, cut a whole lot of welfare spending, and introduce a strange parental-leave funding program that no one seems to quite understand.
It sounds like women that have children while working will be entitled to “super payments” from the government for the first six months after the birth of their children and leave for that full period. And the more highly paid the woman, the more superannuation she gets from the State.
In order to encourage them to stay in the workforce? Sounds like paying them to stay out of the workforce… And incentivising women to start a job when they’re pregnant, and leave it as soon as they’ve given birth…
In news we didn’t know at the beginning of last week, skyscrapers in London can melt jaguars where they park. Well – one building specifically.
How awkward for that architect?
The leaders of the BRICS countries have agreed to set up a $100 billion fund to guard against financial shocks.
Which is a bit confusing, because China and Russia don’t seem to be so impacted by financial shocks…
After demanding 60% increases, the unions accepted an 8% increase. So that’s pretty awesome news.
Almost 70% of Venezuela was plunged into darkness last week. Bus-driver-turned-President Nicolás Marduro blamed the dark and vicious sabotaging forces of the opposition, and asked the army to step in to protect the people.
The electrical energy minister, Jesse Chacón, said there was an electrical failure on a key section of the grid.